The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has paid glowing tributes to his late older brother Dede Charles Amaechi (Oha).
The deceased’s funeral rites took place on Saturday, September 12, in his country home, Ubima. Recalling the impact of the deceased, Amaechi said his late elder brother was like a father to him and his siblings as he took the responsibility of them after their father died.
Speaking at the funeral service held at St. Theresa Catholic Church Ubima, Amaechi said: “It is difficult to manage the death of my elder brother. I called him Dede and the reason why I called him that is because it’s like a tradition in Ubima. You cannot call your older brother or sister by their name, so I called him Dede and it became a household name.
“Most people didn’t even know that his name wasn’t Dede.
“I recall that in the struggle to get through the university, he made his own contributions, he wanted me to go to school overseas, unfortunately, I didn’t, I had to school at the University of Port Harcourt.
“He’s done quite a lot for all of us and the most difficult aspect of it is that he kept the family together, and I’m not in a position to do that now that I’ve become the head of the family, but we’ll try.”
The minister expressed gratitude to those who have condoled with him and his family and those who joined him at the funeral to pay their last respects to the deceased.
Governor Simon Lalung of Plateau State was at the event in his capacity as the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and as the representative of the Nigerian Governors Forum.
He urged the family to be consoled as the deceased lived a good life worthy of emulation and contributed greatly to the growth of the church of Christ.
President Muhammadu Buhari and eminent political economist and former consultant of the World Bank, Dr Uche Igwe, condoled with Amaechi on the death of his elder brother.
“In this moment of grief, our thoughts and prayers are with the Amaechi family and people of Rivers state,” President Buhari said in a statement signed by his media aide, Garba Shehu.